Japan. Iconic sights during the sakura blossom season

Price
$2002
+ flight to Okayama/Tokyo/Osaka and from Tokyo back home
Duration
9 days

What you get

Japan
Cities and islands
Transportation
During the entire trip
Guiding
Professional tour leader - traveler
Experiences
To last a lifetime
Accommodation
8 nights
Physical grade
Level 1 (easy) out of 5

Japan. Iconic sights during the sakura blossom season

What could be more beautiful than exploring the most modern country during the sakura blossom time? The question is rhetorical!

  • Walk the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world in the Tokyo area of Shibuya
  • Explore the Peace Park in Hiroshima and get acquainted with the city, rebuilt on the ashes in several decades 
  • Admire the views of the sacred mountain Fuji 
  • Discover the famous Itsukushima shrine and enjoy one of the three most beautiful landscapes of Japan on the island of Miyajima 
  • Participate in the rituals of the hanami - admiring the blossoming sakura trees
  • Walk in the main fish market of the country, enjoying the freshest seafood

Trip code
JASS
Japan. Iconic sights during the sakura blossom season

Departures

2020
Price
Book
05 April, Sun 13 April, Mon
$ 2002
2021
05 April, Mon 13 April, Tue
$ 2002

Day 1 - 2

Okayama Korakuen garden and Matsumoto Castle Canals of Kurashiki town

We arrive in Okayama (or Osaka / Tokyo and take a high-speed train to Okayama) and check into a hotel. The next morning, we meet with the group and the tour leader and go for a walk in one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan - Korakuen. Established in 1700, in those days it was closed to ordinary mortals - the local ruler received and entertained important guests here. We walk around the pond with islands, which repeats the shape of the largest lake in Japan - Biwa. At every turn, a new view opens up for us, while city buildings are not visible from here at all. It seems that we are away from civilization. We reach Matsumoto Castle, also known as the Crow Castle due to the unusual dark color. And what a contrast against the background of snow-white pink sakura trees! 

After lunch we head to the neighboring town of Kurashiki (30 minutes by train). It is famous for the architecture of the Japanese Golden Age - the Edo era of 17-19 centuries. We ride a boat through narrow canals, admiring houses, walk along cozy cobbled streets, listen to street musicians and try a traditional local takomeshi, a dish of octopus cut in small pieces and cooked together with rice. In the evening we return to Okayama.

Day 3

Hiroshima Peace Park Miyajima island

In the morning, we take the Shinkansen high-speed train to Hiroshima (40 minutes on the way). There we take a ferry to Miyajima island (1.5 hours on the way). This island boasts one of the iconic Japanese sights, which is probably familiar to you from photographs - the ritual gate of a torii 16 meters high which belong to the Itsukushima shrine. In the Japanese Shinto religion, such sacred gates symbolize the transition from the ordinary to the divine. During high tides, this gate on the island is surrounded by water on all sides. Very beautiful. But the view from the top of the mountain is even more impressive. 

We will take the cable to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view of the bay. These places are among the three most beautiful landscapes of the Land of the Rising Sun. Breathtaking! We examine the temple on the mountain, go down and return to Hiroshima by ferry. 

Head to the landmark, sacred for every Japanese - The Peace Park. This is a monument to the most tragic page in Japanese history - the nuclear bombing of the city, which occurred on August 6, 1945. In the center of Hiroshima then only one building partially survived - the Exhibition Center. Now dilapidated, it stands like a ghost, reminding of the difficult past. But look around - the Japanese managed to build all this super modern and comfortable city on the ashes in just a few decades! In the evening we return by train to Okayama (40 minutes on the way).

Day 4

Naoshima island Chichu Art Museum Spotted pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama

In the morning we catch a ferry to another famous Japanese island - Naoshima (2 hours on the way). The Japanese turned this piece of land into a real art object and the island boasts museums, houses of unusual architecture, original sculptures. Let's start with the Chichu Art Museum. Among the favorite expositions are the works of Japanese artists and the Claude Monet` “Water Lilies”. The interweaving of these colors can be meditated over forever... And the museum itself is a an attraction. After all, it was created by the world famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. 

We explore the island, stumbling upon unusual houses and sculptures surrounded by blooming fragrant trees. The most famous, of course, is a huge spotted pumpkin - the work of the iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. It is set right on the pier. We return to Okayama for the night.

Day 5

The capital, Tokyo Shibuya area Harajuku district Observation deck on top of City Hall

We take the Shinkansen high-speed train to Tokyo (approximately 4.5 hours on the way) and check into a hotel. Let`s begin our acquaintance with one of the greatest mega cities in the world! We head to the Shibuya area. It is here that the famous monument to the faithful dog Hachiko is situated. The dog became famous for the fact that every day from 1925 to 1934 he came to the Shibuya railway station to wait for his master from work. Of course, the faithful dog could not know that his owner died at work back in May 1925, and will never be coming home. When the story of Hachiko was published in a local newspaper, the dog became famous, and since then he has been a symbol of love and fidelity. Tokyo lovers and newlyweds love to meet and take pictures near this monument. 

Another iconic spot in the Shibuya area is the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. Green light for pedestrians here lights from five sides at the same time. Cameramen and photographers love this place. You probably saw it in many films. 

Next we head to the Harajuku district - a place famous all over the world for its street fashion and gatherings of cosplay fans. Here you can see and photograph colorful Japanese youth in costumes of fictional characters and fantastic heroes. And the clothing stores in Harajuku will satisfy even the most demanding fashionistas. In the evening we will watch Tokyo from the observation area on top of the City Hall roof and enjoy the lights of the 10-million city.

Day 6

Kamakura 13th century Buddha statue Tsurugaoka Hachimangu temple

In the morning we take the train to Kamakura (1.5 hours on the way). This town boasts one of the symbols of Japan - a 13th-century Buddha statue. Initially, it was placed inside the temple, which was destroyed twice in two centuries by storms and tsunamis. In the 15th century, even patient Japanese decided not to rebuild the temple anymore, and Buddha remained to meditate in the open. 

Then we walk to the Shinto shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, built in the 11th century. Then go to the Kannon Hasedera Shrine, which houses one of the largest wooden statues in Japan, 9 meters high. Also, this temple offers a wonderful view of the city and the sea. 

On the way back to Tokyo, we will visit Yokohama to see the famous Port of the Future. This is a super modern area of business buildings and entertainment on the shores of Tokyo Bay. It is home to the tallest buildings in the country, the popular Ferris wheel and the largest Japanese spa. Impressed by the urban landscapes, we return for the night in Tokyo (30 minutes on the way).

Day 7

Fujikawaguchiko town Views of Mount Fuji Iyashi no Sato Open Air Museum

The train takes us to Fujikawaguchiko (2 hours on the way). This is a favorite weekend spot for the Japanese, who, like their ancestors hundreds of years ago, come here to enjoy beautiful views of Mount Fuji. It is especially beautiful in the sakura blossom season! 

We will ride the bus, and those who wish can rent bicycles to observe Fuji from all sides. The Japanese honor this mountain as sacred and believe that Taoist saints went to Fuji in search of immortality. Those who succeeded still live on the slopes of this picturesque volcano .... 

Nearby is the Iyashi no Sato Open Air Museum. This is an old village which boasts traditional houses with straw roofs. We will see how the Japanese lived centuries ago, and in the evening will return to Tokyo.

Day 8 - 9

Tsukiji fish market Shinjuku-gyoen park

Free day in Tokyo. We recommend starting it with breakfast at the colorful Tsukiji fish market, which serves the freshest sushi and other seafood dishes. And on the shelves you can see the most exotic inhabitants of the local seas. Also, consider going to Shinjuku-gyoen park. This is the favorite place for the people of Tokyo for the Hanami ritual - admiring the sakura flowers. Local residents ride boats, play musical instruments, take pictures and have picnics right under the blooming trees. 

It's time to take care of souvenirs. Pay attention to maneki-neko - Japanese cat figures that bring good luck. Or daruma - a traditional wooden doll-amulet. Be sure to buy the popular Japanese mochi sweets with different fillings and traditional sake alcohol. 

The next day, we say goodbye to Japan and fly home. 

Tour leader

Yevgeniy Ikhelzon
co-founder, tour leader

Подходит ли вам это путешествие?

This trip is of easy physical grade. It includes long walks in cities and easy hikes in parks and short (up to 4.5 hours) trips by trains, buses and ferries. We will also be riding the cable car and take a boat trip around the lake. Accommodation in double/twin rooms in tourist class hotels. All will have wi fi internet.

Стоимость путешествия включает:

  1. All transportation, including trains, boats, ferries, buses and trips from the airport and to the airport;
  2. Accommodation in double/twin rooms during the entire trip;
  3. Professional guiding services.

What is NOT included:

  1. Flight to Okayama (or Tokyo / Osaka) and from Tokyo back home. (Let us know if you need help finding the best deals);
  2. Insurance (mandatory);
  3. Entrance fees to parks, museums and other attractions along the route (approximately $150);
  4. Visa (if you need one);
  5. Food (approximately $20-50 per person per day).

Visa

Japan is visa free for citizens of most countries.

Citizens of some countries who need a visa should apply in the Japanese embassy in the country of residence before the trip.

We provide free visa consulting for our clients.

Additional options

SIM card with 3G internet in Japan
Price: + $30
SIM card with LTE internet, 1Mb per day

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